Thursday, June 4, 2009

Get Connected: Paying homage to my wedding assistants

Sean and I in our matching Domke photo vests.

I wanted to dedicate this post to Christine and Sean, my wonderful assistants who helped me shoot last Saturday's wedding for Julie and Joe. I am so thankful to have had them with me, as I STILL don't know how one photographer can cover an entire wedding alone. Having three very different photographers focusing on specific aspects of the wedding made it easy to document this couples' "story," and I just know that if I had been forced to shoot this alone, details would have been missing.

Christine working the church floor. Photo by Sean Donnelly

Christine was responsible for capturing detailed shots, including the rings, the shoes and bouquet. She was also the only photographer stationed on the floor of the church and thus took numerous wide angle, story telling shots. I was behind the altar and Sean was upstairs in the choir loft shooting down. Having us all in different places using very different lenses (Christine shooting wide and with a standard 24-70 and Sean and I using largely telephotos) meant we got great angles of important parts of the wedding, including "The kiss," the ring exchange and walking down the aisle together as a new married couple.

Photo by Sheba Wheeler

Photo by Sean Donnelly

Photo by Christine Tydingco

It is fun to be able to see us all developing our own signature styles. Christine's images appear to be becoming very "illustrative" as opposed to traditional or photojournalistic. Illustrative wedding photography is known for really unique and unusual lighting effects and angles that make the image stand out from the ordinary. The photographer is given more ability to improvise and use his/her artistic sense to create the story of a wedding day rather than take images of individual moments that build up to the story as I like to do as a photojournalistic photographer. Here are some of my favorites from Christine:

Photo by Christine Tydingco

Photo by Christine Tydingco

Photo by Christine Tydingco

Sean focused on the groom, getting formal portraits of relatives and groomsmen. I love his edgy, high contrast style and lensbaby-effect which I think worked great for shooting the men. Here are some of my favorites of Sean's work from the day:

Photo by Sean Donnelly

Photo by Sean Donnelly

Photo by Sean Donnelly

I think Julie and Joe got a great collection of images to cherish for all time from three equally talented photographers, and I couldn't thank Christine and Sean enough.
Photographers have different ways of working with assistants. In some cases, a lead shooter will request that the assistants simply handover all of their unedited images so he/she can edit them for a consistent look. Since I had a wedding on Saturday and another on Sunday, I decided to let my assistants cull their own work down as well as edit them, giving me only their best 50 or so.

Now, are you guys ready for another wedding? :)


Lisa Piellusch said...

It's so great that you have such fantastic photographers assisting you for the weddings. I too have no idea how a single person can photograph a wedding. Heck! I sometimes find it challenging to take care of and remember all of the details in a 'simple' portrait shoot! LOL

Great shots! :)

-- Lisa P.

Sheba Wheeler said...

Thanks Lisa. I have an instructor who shoots weddings alone, so I think I might interview him and see how he does it. He must choose his shots or work with a shot list or something. It would be interesting to see how he does it.

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